Brian Eno on trusting your ears


Electronic music can be traced back to the invention of the telegraph, telephone, and radio. The first electronic instruments were developed in the early 20th century and since then have been incorporated into various forms of music including jazz, rock, and pop music.

Brian Eno is a British producer who has produced records for Coldplay, David Bowie and U2. A quote from Eno that has recently received a lot of attention on social media is “it takes a while before untalented people quit asking you if you can do things for them.” (Eno).

The quote was posted on a blog called “The Audientist,” which analyzes and explains Brian Eno’s quote “it takes a while before untalented people quit asking you if you can do things for them.” (Eno).

Eno’s quote is often used as an example of how someone with talent can be unrecognized by others until they are successful. While many people will agree that this may be true for talented individuals, there are also some who disagree because they believe talent can only be recognized by those with similar abilities.

Blogger Alex Gendler discusses three different ways that one might explain why talent can

Brian Eno is the quintessential composer and producer of the 20th century. In his interview with New Musical Express, he discusses the importance of trusting your ears. He states that “It takes a while before untalented people quit asking you if you can do things for them.”

In my experience as an electronic music producer, I have found this quote very true to my own life. It took me a long time for me to be confident enough in my abilities to confidently say “yes” when someone asked me to do something for them. I spent most of my life thinking that I wasn’t as good as I could be, so why should anyone ask me? But it turns out that this thought process held me back from success more than anything else.

Now that I have been producing electronic music for over five years, I have learned how important it is to trust your ears. The concept of “trusting your ears” is one that many people take for granted, but it is in fact the foundation upon which all great music is made. Many people think that they need a certain amount of talent in order to produce great music, but this just isn’t true. You don’t need talent!

I remember reading that when Brian Eno was starting out, he made a pact with himself: he would follow his ears, and not worry about whether he was talented or not.

I wonder if that helped him. If you feel you have to do something, it’s probably because you want to. If you think you’ve got no choice, it’s probably because your mind is already made up.

If I had been in Brian’s shoes, I might have thought “I’m untalented! I don’t deserve to be here!” But the truth is that he was there because he wanted to be there. It was right for him to be there. And even if no one else wanted what he made, it would make sense for him to keep making it.

In the same way — and this is the point of the quote — it takes a while before untalented people quit asking you if you can do things for them. You get some experience, and then you know better than to say yes just because someone asks nicely. And then you get more experience and start learning how to say no without feeling guilty about it.

The quote “it takes a while before untalented people quit asking you if you can do things for them” is from musician and composer Brian Eno. In the context of his quote, Eno is addressing a specific scenario in which someone says, “I have this idea for a piece of music I want to do. Can you do it?”

What does Eno mean by the phrase “can you do it?” He doesn’t mean “do you have the skills to do it?” He means “will you do it exactly as I say?”

If all an art director is looking for is someone to execute, they might wish to consider hiring a trained monkey. But they don’t want a trained monkey. They want someone who has made their own decisions, who has judgement, who has opinions and can make their own work. The point at which untalented people stop asking artists if they can do things for them is when the artist stops doing what the other person asks them to do.

For the first few years of anyone’s career, everyone assumes that you don’t know what you are doing. It takes a while before untalented people quit asking you if you can do things for them. When I was starting out, I would always say yes to everything because I was hungrily looking for work; but then, of course, having accepted a commission I would spend a great deal of time and energy trying to get out of it.

The real key to success in any creative field is this: listen to your own voice. Listen very carefully, and learn to trust it. If it says “No” it means no; if it says “Wait a minute” it means wait a minute. If doesn’t say anything at all, that means neither yes nor no — just think about it some more.

If you learn to listen to your own voice and obey its instructions, there will be times when it tells you to do something radically different from what the rest of the world expects from you. In those circumstances, it is usually prudent not to listen; but occasionally — very occasionally — one should consider doing what one’s own voice tells one. At those times, one will be committing professional

You have to learn to trust your ears. There is a great deal of advice given about how to be creative, and much of it is contradictory. Some people tell you that you should work to a schedule: “sit down at the keyboard every morning at 9am and don’t get up until you have written something”. Other people advise exactly the opposite: don’t force it, they say, wait until inspiration strikes. Some people advise following rules; others advise breaking them. Some people tell you that you need to know a lot; others insist that you need to know very little.

I think part of the problem is that no two situations are alike: there are too many variables and so any advice tends to be both general (and thus useless) or specific (and thus useless).

In my experience, there is only one reliable answer to all these questions. Or rather, one question that can answer all these questions: does it sound good?

Brian Eno has been composing music for over 50 years. He is best known for his work in the genres of ambient and electronic music and has collaborated with some legends such as David Bowie, Talking Heads, and U2. He is often credited as the person who coined the phrase “ambient music,” which is a genre of music that focuses on creating a mood or atmosphere through sound.

Eno has also produced over 30 albums in his lifetime, including more recently the album High Life with Underworld. In addition to his work in music, he has also been involved in the visual arts and design. For example, he designed the Microsoft sound scheme called “Windows Sound” in 1993.

Eno also recently wrote a blog post titled “How to be an artist (or not)” on his website that discusses how artists can find success in their work. The blog post includes advice from Eno about how to develop one’s style and opinions from other artists such as John Cage and David Byrne about what it means to be an artist:

Eno: When you start off making things, you are very sensitive to what other people think about them because you’re eager for any kind of response at all. Then gradually your interest


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